I was going to title this post: Running/Race/Pace Strategies and Why I Like Running in the Evening, but I thought it was a little wordy. Plus, I already broke my Longest Title Ever record last month, and we can’t have me breaking that record twice in such a short time span now, can we? Because, come on, that’d just be ridiculous.
Anywho, this is here post is mostly about my pace strategy. I’m not sure if that is actually a thing, but that’s what we’re calling it, k? There is this thing (an actual thing) in Runner’s Land called negative splits. This is where you run the second half of a run/race faster than the first half. Apparently, most runners tend to start out quickly and then slow down as their run progresses. I am not programmed that way. Negative splits require you to start slowly and then speed up. That, my friends, is how I am programmed. Every once in awhile, I will have a whole lot of energy at the beginning and start a run too fast, but for the most part I like to ease into my runs. Even when I race. Actually, especially when I race. I like to start at a comfortable pace until my body feels good and warm and then I like to speed up just a little bit every half mile or so. This has always felt very natural to me. I like to know that I will have enough energy left to really kill it the last quarter to half mile.
Something that helps me determine my pace is RunKeeper. RunKeeper is one of many running apps available for your phone that uses GPS to map your run and is also connected to a website where you can track your goals and whatnot. (You can use it for walking, cycling, etc as well.) I have had people tell me that they like other apps better, but I LOVE my RunKeeper. I have it set to tell me every 5 minutes how far I have gone and my overall pace. Which means that very 5 minutes I can readjust my pace. You see, I know that if the first half mile of any given run is fast that an 8:30 min/mile pace or faster that I will likely pass out and die before my run is over. However, if my starting pace is between 8:30 and 9:00, I will make it… and not only will I make it, but I’ll be able to finish strong. I willingly admit here that I rely on technology to know what may body can and can’t do. And, I’ve mentioned this before, I am extremely goal oriented. RunKeeper allows me to know if I am reaching my goal for that particular run. Sometimes I set out with no goal in mind, but 9 times out of 10 I’ve got a goal and gosh darnit, I will reach said goal. Something else I love about RunKeeper is that I can set an interval program. The app tells me when each it is time for the next interval, so I can focus on speed & form rather than constantly looking at my watch.
The other point of this post is why I like to run in the evenings… at least in the summers. From June through September it is hot as Hades in southwest Florida. It is 95 degrees with 100% humidity by like 8:30 in the morning. I physically and mentally have a very difficult time getting it together to run before 8am. With me not getting home form work until midnight, Hubby leaving for work by 7:30, Bug waking up around 7:30 and trying to get him fed and to school by 9:00, running in the early morning is pretty much a no go. So, this time of year, if I’m not working at night, I run in the evening. Bug goes to bed at around 7:30, so I slip out and run just after bedtime. It’s still hot out, but at least the sun isn’t beating down on me and the humidity has lightened up a little bit. Also, for some reason, on most evenings, I have a good amount of energy at about that time. I am super excited, though, that it is starting to cool off a bit. And by cool off, of course, I mean that the high is only 90 today. This means that I’ll able to run again after I drop Bug off at school in the morning.
When do you like to run? What is your pace strategy?